The Victoria Scrimmage was held at St. Margaret’s on Nov. 28, 2022. It was very exciting to see all of the teams in person and to check out their robots before the matches started.
It felt like we were queueing constantly. It felt like there was a lot we were bringing to the queueing table (beacon, sleeve, robot, driver station) which was stressful but the matches were very fun and overall it was great to see some of the rookie/underdog teams absolutely dominate with all of the experience and skill they had obtained. It goes to show that you can always compete no matter how long you’ve been involved with FIRST.
In September we went to visit both Amazon and Microsoft Headquarters in Seattle.
The Amazon Campus is located in the middle of downtown Seattle. It was sometimes a challenge to know what was or was not Amazon, but almost everything was!
“The amazon spheres were amazing. They looked very futuristic and filled with plants. There were lots of meeting rooms and creative spaces inside. It was like an environment simulation”
Next up was Microsoft. The Redmond campus was giving us some serious college campus vibes. There was a soccer field, restaurants, and well, people. It was quite high tech, with wireless chargers at every bench and seating area. It seemed like Microsoft was trying to centralize their employees’ lives, with restaurants, bike shops, and many other facilities on-site. They let us play a round of Apex Legends.
We then played some matches. It was a little difficult getting the match up and started, but we managed to do it! Every other team seems to have the same struggles anyways; whether that was randomization or autonomous and it took the full 2 hours to get through all the teams. The lag on discord also made some matches harder to watch.
It was a fun day and chance to see more FTC people.
On March 6, FIX IT hosted a workshop called “How to Create a Virtual Pit” for FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) robotics teams. It was designed to help FTC teams with making a Virtual Pit, and potentially helping them with judging interviews. For this workshop, we invited two FTC teams from Washington, Team 3805 Atomic Robotics, and Team 417 S.K.I.D., to help with the presentation.
We covered what is a Virtual Pit, and how to plan for one. Half way through our presentation, Atomic Robotics and S.K.I.D. presented their Virtual Pits to give an example of a Virtual Pit. Then we moved on to topics like how to make the most out of visiting pits, the importance of asking questions, how to cope with technical difficulties, and additional tips.
In March – May of 2020, FIX IT was part of the Vancouver Island COVID Printing Group who 3D printed face shields and ear protectors for medical facilities and front line workers.
It was a opportunity for our team members to use the skills they had developed by being on a robotics team, and do something to help make the lives of front line workers a little bit easier. We could use our CAD skills to create a new design for ear savers that would work better for people with straight hair, and then use our printing skills to create the ear savers.
In place of their popular annual awards for the Technology Industry, VIATEC held a celebration of the people and organizations in Greater Victoria that have made exceptional contributions to our community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our COVID 3D Printing group was recognized as COVID Heroes!
Check out the list of challenges to help get those creative thoughts flowing. Using items you can find around the house, students are encouraged to create something brand new that solves one of today’s big issues.
Our team spends a lot of time working on robots, but in the summer, we like to try some different types of projects too.
As a fun, design challenge we decided we wanted to do a paper airplane competition, with a twist – we would also have to build separate launching devices to launch the planes instead of throwing them. We ended up using 3 different forms of potential energy. Our first team used elastic potential energy pulled back into a Tetrix based launch to launch their plane. Our second team used air pressure by making a closed-air system which launched a plane by pushing down on a soda bottle. Our final team used chemical potential energy from the reaction of Coca Cola™ and baking soda to launch a rocket-shaped plane.
We had a lot of fun planning our strategies for the competition and painstakingly assembling our planes and the launcher. Our elastic plane launcher ended up taking the prize for the most accurate, landing in the nearest target hoop twice, and in the farthest hoop once. The plane that launched with air pressure wasn’t too accurate, but it managed to land in the near hoop once (unfortunately the soda bottle broke immediately after the first accurate launch). When you shoot for a moonshot you take a lot of risks and unfortunately the third plane was unable to launch, though we were treated to a pretty snazzy show of explosions.
At the end of the day, we had fun, learned lots, cooperated and had a pretty cool air show!
It was great seeing all the teams at the Washington State Championships. Technova’s autonomous program was amazing, even if it had a few difficulties. We liked Perpetual Velocity’s fun team introductions, Bearded Pineapples had a great slideshow with CAD and of course, Safety Steve.
We like this year’s game since Alliances really have to work together to score the most points. Lots of teams were working with their Alliance Partners on the practice fields which was fun to watch.
Our robot had good matches (successful autonomous, stacking and end game points) and challenges (dragging a tape measure around the field during tele-op).
14179 Sushi Squad (2nd Alliance Captain) choose 12611 TechNova and FIX IT for their alliance partners. Unfortunately, we lost out in the semi-finals.
FIX IT was very excited to win the Inspire Award and qualify for the Houston Championships!
In spite of some weather challenges, FIX IT was able to go to Interleague but one of our team members missed the ferry. We were very exited to see the Washington State Teams who weren’t in our league.
FIX IT worked well with their partners and were ranked 1st at the end of the Qualifying Rounds. We chose 12611 TechNova and 6541 Titan Robotics II, which was a great alliance with all the teams and robots working well together. It was very exciting to win the final match and be the Captain of the Winning Alliance.
Our team members were surprised and delighted to be nominated for the design award and win the Control Award. Best of all, we’re going to the Washington State Championships on Jan. 26, 2020.
Rather than waiting for FIRST to create a Water Game, FIX IT decided to go looking for their own Water Game!
The 34th Annual Slegg Building Material Build-a-Boat Competition was on July 1st, Canada Day, in Sydney, British Columbia. Teams (must have three people) have a maximum of $115 worth of materials donated by Slegg Building Materials to build their boat. We entered with two teams; FIX IT with Joel, Mythri and Duncan ( FIX IT alumni) and Water Game with Ines, Bijou and Linday (a friend).
We had 4 hours to build our boats from the materials. Both boats came together fairly quickly, even though they were very different designs. The real question was ‘had we used enough caulk and duct tape to make them water tight?’
It was an exciting opportunity, and a chance to try our carpentry skills which turned out to be a challenge. But both boats were finished in the four hours allowed.
There were about 10 boats in the race around Sydney harbour. Fortunately, Search and Rescue were onsite, which turned out to be a good thing when one of the other crews needed rescuing.
One of the FIX IT team boats launched well, and completed the course. The other boat, named Caulk Monster, had some launching issues. The team was pretty happy to have their boat float, though it wasn’t hydrodynamic and it didn’t go very far. It was water tight until they tipped and let the water in over the sides.
Bijou and Ines decided to have some fun and went for a swim so they could escort the other FIX IT boat as it crossed the finish line.
Everyone had a great time and learned something about boat building. Our coach hoped that it would end the Water Game talk, but we may just try it again next summer!